I feel confident in my assumption that Leo Brouwer
is one of the most respected personalities on the classic guitar scene
today. His exciting, original compositions have embellished the instrument’s
modern repertoire significantly and his efforts to promote the guitar’s
status are exemplary. Sadly his own playing career was cut short by
a hand injury, but there remain a number of his recordings in the catalogue.
Deutsche Grammophon have now reissued this recording
- first available during the 1970s on vinyl. The playing illustrates
perfectly Leo Brouwer’s highly developed guitar technique and skills
of interpretation. He plays not only of his own works, but mainly those
of other composers that presumably Brouwer held in high esteem; certainly
high enough to record their work. This in itself is possibly an insight
into the influences that he himself draws upon.
All the composers included here were born during the
first half of the 20th century. The names of Hans Werner
Henze and Maurice Ohana may be familiar to the more enthusiastic guitar
aficionados, but most are relatively unknown.
It must be said that in no-way is this disc easy listening.
The music may only appeal to the advocates of atonality or serialism
or what is generally regarded as the avant-garde. But I still feel it
is an important document in the times of this exceptional man, Leo Brouwer
Thankfully within the inlay notes there is some concise
explanation about not all the works and composers but at least a few.
These help the uninitiated along regarding the musical language. Given
the complexity of the music this is essential.
Andy Daly's Leo Brouwer page